Leyland Live doubles in size

Leyland Live festival organiser Nigel Stewart is celebrating the success of the event
Leyland Live festival organiser Nigel Stewart is celebrating the success of the event

It’s being dubbed as ‘Glastonbury without the mud’, and organisers behind this year’s Leyland Live have said it will almost double in size with 20 venues and 160 performances over two nights.

The event, which is only in its second year, is expected to draw thousands of people into the town next week with its offering of everything from rock and jazz music to belly dancing and choirs.

The man behind the weekend, Nigel Stewart, said: “We will hold performances everywhere from popular pubs to the town library and it is a real community affair.

“The venues love it, the performers love it and the punters love it, and this year it will be twice as big as the first one.”

The finishing touches are being made to the 2013 line-up, but organisers have already announced that there will be 160 performances over Friday and Saturday nights.

The youngest of those acts will be Connor Banks, who at only 10 years old, is making a name for himself as a talented acoustic singer and guitar player.

Nigel added: “He goes down a storm everywhere and plays Ed Sheeran covers.

He is extremely talented and one of the young performers we want to showcase.

“Leyland Live has something for all ages – we even have a ventriloquist and a magician.”

Wristbands have now gone on sale at the venues across the town at £5 each for entry over both nights (July 5 and 6).

Nigel added: “Leyland Live is like Glastonbury, but without the mud.

“All of the venues are indoors and it is a chance for people who have never experienced a festival to sample what it’s really like and listen to talented artists from across the area.

“This year we have jazz, rock, metal, pop, acoustic, folk, blues, country and show tunes and we also have three choirs, drama groups and the SambAfriq dancers - and that doesn’t include the belly dancing at the library.

“And £2.50 doesn’t even buy a fish and chips supper these days so we think it is a bargain to be able to watch 160 performances for just £5.”

The drummer, who plays with the band ‘Yard Dogs’, said people had been queuing to get in to a similar event in Penwortham in April.

He added: “Following the success of the first Leyland Live, we went on to arrange Leyland Christmas last November with 15 venues and street entertainment, and then Penwortham Live with 17 venues.

“More than 2,000 people came over the weekend and we had people standing in the streets trying to get in to venues.

“We’re hoping to double the numbers at this year’s Leyland Live as people really supported it the first time around and loved it.”

Teenager Katy Cottrell and talented Michelle Dowbekin also feature in the set list.

Nigel added: “Katy and Michelle are incredibly talented singers and could easily walk on to the X-Factor.

“We will also have the Red Rose Choir and Ribble Valley Jazz Band as well as Leyland’s James Christy who is an acoustic rock and pop singer, songwriter who is absolutely brilliant.”

For a full line-up and programme, pick up a copy of the Leyland Guardian next week or visit www.leylandguardian.co.uk.

Venues taking part:

- Antonellos Restaurant

- Beijing Restaurant

- The Courtroom (Coppers Tea Rooms)

- Eagle and Child Pub

- Fox and Lion Pub

- Gables Pub

- Ice Dreams and Coffee Beans

- Isolabella Restaurant

- Knights of St. Columba Club

- Leyland Library

- Original French Bistro Restaurant

- Original Ship Inn

- Paces and Laces Shoe Shop

- Peek-a-Brew Coffee Bar

- Queens Pub

- RAFA Club

- Railway Hotel

- Roebuck Pub

- Rose and Crown Pub

- Wellington Park – Da Vinci Restaurant